When the weather is hot, I like my meals to be fresh, light and easy to digest. So this is the best time to enjoy a bowl of refreshing salad for your lunch or dinner. To some of you, salad might seem like the boring or bland option. If that’s the case, it’s because you are not making your salad right.

My recipes will be packed full of tasty ingredients, different varieties and textures. The best part is, you can make them the day before and take it with you to work or school. Plus, if you are watching your weight, you will know exactly what you’ve put in it.

The tip to make a balanced, healthy and delicious salad is simple grab a large bowl and combine:

1) One portion of Carbs (1/2 cup)
Pasta, Rice, Couscous, Bulgar wheat, Quinoa, Potatoes, Bread etc
*Leftovers are perfect for this!

2) One portion of Protein (3oz / 85g)
Any meat, chicken, ham slices, chorizo, any fish, can tuna / salmon, eggs, seafood, cheese, any beans, tofu, tempeh etc.

3) Lots of fresh Vegetables & Fruits
As many fruits and vegetables of your choice, serve in abundance.

4) A selection of Herbs or Sprinkles
Fresh herbs such as Mint, Parsley, Basil or Coriander.
Any seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, or flax seeds), Nuts (walnuts, pistachio or almond), Dried Fruits (Raisins, Apricot or Sultanas) or Olives.
**Consume seeds, nuts and dried fruits in moderation as they are high in calories.

5) Light Salad Dressing
Make your own by using a combination of Lemon / Lime / Honey / Olive Oil / Rice Vinegar / Balsamic Vinegar etc.

So my recipes are super quick, easy and they make very filling meals. If you like your rice just like me, my Chicken & Mango Rice Salad is for you.

1) Chicken & Mango Rice Salad (Serves 2)

The ingredients you’ll need are:

- 1 cup Rice, cooked and cooled – 206Cals
*Leftover rice is perfect for this.
- 6oz (170g) shredded Chicken Breasts, cooked and cooled – 256Cals
**Choose to grill, bake or lightly pan fry the chicken breasts.
**Vegetarian: Replace with 1 can of beans of your choice.
- ½ medium (110g) Mango, peeled and diced into small cubes – 65Cals
- ½ medium (140g) Cucumber, diced into small cubes – 23Cals
- 1 medium Green Onion, thinly sliced – 5Cals
- 1 tbsp Basil Leaves, roughly chopped – 1Cal
- Salt & Pepper, to taste

- Juice from 1 lime – 11Cals
- ½ tbsp. Sesame Oil – 68Cals
- ½ tbsp Rice Vinegar – 10Cals
- ½ tbsp. Honey – 32Cals

Total Cals – 677
Per Serving: 338.5Cals

1) Start by making the salad dressing. In a small bowl, combine juice from 1 lime, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and honey. Set in aside.
2) Then in a large bowl, combine the rice, chicken breasts, mango, cucumber and green onion. Mix it well.
3) Then lightly toss all the ingredients with the salad dressing. Season with salt & pepper.
4) Finally, sprinkle with basil leaves and serve.

So you are getting your carbs from the rice, protein from the chicken breast, crunchy texture from the cucumber, sweetness from the mango, the freshness from the basil leaves, topped with an Asian inspired salad dressing.

This huge bowl only has 334.5 Cals. You may also replace the rice with cous cous, quinoa, pasta or potatoes. When salad is as healthy, hearty and delicious as this, it’s hard not to love it.

My next favourite is

2) Spiced Chickpeas Tuna Salad (Serves 3)

The ingredients you’ll need are:

- 1 can (240g) Chickpeas, rinsed & drained – 290Cals
*Option: Any other beans.
- 1 can (130g) Tuna, drained & flaked – 117Cals
**For vegetarian, you may omit this.
- 1 medium (120g) Bell Pepper, diced into small cubes – 31Cals
- ¼ medium Red Onion, finely diced – 10Cals
- 2 cups (60g) Fresh Leafy Greens, any choice – 14Cals
- ½ medium Avocado, diced into cubes – 115Cals (Optional)
- 1 tbsp Basil Leaves, chopped – 1Cal

- Juice from ½ Lemon – 6Cals
- 1 tsp Paprika – 6Cals
- 1 tsp Rice Vinegar – 7Cals
- Salt & Pepper, to taste

Total Cals: 597Cals
Per Serving: 199Cals

1) Let’s start by making the dressing. In a bowl, combine juice from ½ a lemon, paprika, rice vinegar, salt and pepper. Set it aside.
2) In a large bowl. Combine chickpeas, tuna, bell pepper, red onion and avocado. Mix it well.
3) Then lightly toss all the ingredients with the salad dressing.
4) Serve it over the leafy greens and finally sprinkle with basil leaves.

This salad on its own is under 200Cals per serving.

You may choose to eat this on its own or serve it with a side of pitta bread, corn tortilla or a wrap, which will definitely keep you satisfied for a long time.

This salad is packed full of flavor and texture. You are getting the sweetness and crunchiness from the bell pepper, red onion and leafy green, balanced with the creaminess from the avocado. This is then topped with a very light salad dressing.

Most of the time, salad on it’s own makes a light and healthy meal, however if it’s tipped with a creamy dressing which is very high in calories, it can turn into an unhealthy meal. So choose your dressing wiser and serve in moderation.


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